States, UTs, score below average on 31 governance issues in survey by Association for Democratic Reforms.

Of the 273,487 voters selected for the sample, 64.88 per cent were men and 35.12 per cent were women.
 Of the 273,487 voters selected for the sample, 64.88 per cent were men and 35.12 per cent were women.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: All States and Union Territories, Kerala being no exception, have scored below average on all 31 listed governance issues, including jobs, health, PDS and farm loan availability, in a voter survey undertaken by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)  towards end-2018.

In Kerala, voters rated better employment opportunities, better hospitals and primary care centres and drinking water as key issues like in other States but the assessment of the State Government performance in all three areas has been below 2.3 score on a scale of 5.

The ADR commissioned a survey of members of the eligible electorate—citizens who are of 18 years and above—during October to December 2018 to ascertain voters’ priorities on specific governance issues, their perception of the government’s performance on those issues and also to identify the factors that are influencing voting behaviour.

The other objectives of the survey were to assess eligible voters’ expectations from the government, opinion regarding criminal candidates contesting in elections, exposure to inducements for vote, level of awareness regarding the role of crime and money in elections, and general attitudes regarding the electoral process in democracy.

Of the 273,487 voters selected for the sample, 64.88 per cent were men and 35.12 per cent were women. 65.28 per cent of respondents were between 18 and 40 years of age and 64.84 per cent respondents were from rural locations while 35.16 per cent were from urban India.

All throughout the survey - at all-India level, across states and across various categories - better employment opportunities and better health care, remain among the topmost voters’ priorities. Also, these two voters’ priorities have continued to remain at the top at all-India level since 2017.

97.86 per cent voters felt that candidates with criminal background should not be in Parliament or State Assembly, nevertheless, there were 35.89 per cent voters who were willing to vote for a candidate with criminal records if the candidate has done good work in the past.

Over the last two years, governments in power, both at the Centre and state/UT-level, have neglected voters’ priorities. This is conspicuous in the poor and the underwhelming performance of a majority of governments across states/UTs on top governance issues as rated by their respective voters.

The 31 governance issues included agriculture loan availability, electricity for agriculture and domestic use, farm prices, consumer prices, irrigation, subsidy for seeds and fertilizers, terrorism, employment, health care, law and order, public transport, roads, education, drinking water, empowerment and security of wo-men, eradication of corruption, reservation, strong de-fence/military, subsidized food distribution (PDS), training for jobs, garbage clearance, encroachment of public land/lakes, facility for cyclists and pedestrians on roads, traffic congestion, environment and “others”.

As mentioned earlier, “others” was included in case something important was missed in the list. Less than 1 per cent respondents came up with any other issue.

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